incoming.conf - Man Page

Configuration of incoming news feeds

In a Nutshell

The incoming.conf file configures from which remote peers innd accepts NNTP feeds.

A common entry to allow as an incoming peer is:

    peer {
        hostname: ""

The port used for incoming feeds is the one innd is listening on (usually port 119 or 433).

After any changes, run inncheck to perform basic syntax checks, and reload this configuration file with the following command:

    ctlinnd reload incoming.conf 'new peer'


The file pathetc/incoming.conf consists of three types of entries: key/value, peer and group.  Comments are from the hash character # to the end of the line.  Blank lines are ignored.  All key/value entries within each type must not be duplicated.  Key/value entries are a keyword immediately followed by a colon, at least one blank and a value.  For example:

    max-connections: 10

A legal key does not contains blanks, colons, nor #.  There are three different types of values: integers, booleans, and strings.  Integers are as to be expected.  A boolean value is either true or false (case is significant).  A string value is any other sequence of characters. If the string needs to contain whitespace, then it must be quoted with double quotes.

Peer entries look like:

    peer <name> {
        # body

The word peer is required.  <name> is a label for this peer.  It is any string valid as a key.  The body of a peer entry contains some number of key/value entries.

Group entries look like:

    group <name> {
        # body

The word group is required.  <name> is any string valid as a key. The body of a group entry contains any number of the three types of entries. So key/value pairs can be defined inside a group, and peers can be nested inside a group, and other groups can be nested inside a group.  Key/value entries that are defined outside of all peer and group entries are said to be at global scope.  Global key/value entries act as defaults for peers. When innd looks for a specific value in a peer entry (for example, the maximum number of connections to allow), if the value is not defined in the peer entry, then the enclosing groups are examined for the entry (starting at the closest enclosing group).  If there are no enclosing groups, or the enclosing groups don't define the key/value, then the value at global scope is used.  A small example could be:

    # Global value applied to all peers that have no value of their own.
    max-connections: 5

    # A peer definition.
    peer uunet {

    peer vixie {
        max-connections: 10        # Override global value.

    # A group of two peers which can open more connections than normal.
    group fast-sites {
        max-connections: 15

        # Another peer.  The max-connections value from the
        # fast-sites group scope is used.
        peer {

        peer {
            max-connections: 20    # He can really cook.

Given the above configuration file, the defined peers would have the following values for the max-connections key.

    uunet                  5
    vixie                 10   15       20


The following keys are allowed:


This key requires a positive integer value.  It defines the hold time before closing, if the connection is over max-connections.  A value of zero specifies immediate close.  The default is 0.


This key requires a string value.  It is a list of hostnames separated by a comma.  A hostname is either a fully qualified domain name that resolves to the IPv4 or IPv6 address of the peer, or the dotted-quad IP address of the peer for IPv4, or the colon-separated IP address of the peer for IPv6.  If this key is not present in a peer block, the hostname defaults to the label of the peer.


This key requires a string value.  It is used if you wish to require a peer's user name retrieved through identd(8) match the specified string. Note that currently innd does not implement any timeout in identd callbacks, so enabling this option may cause innd to hang if the remote peer does not respond to ident callbacks in a reasonable timeframe. The default is an empty string, that is to say no ident daemon.


This key requires a boolean value.  Setting this entry to true causes innd to answer negatively to proposals from the remote peer to send you articles. The default is false.

More technically, if ignore is true, innd will refuse every Message-ID proposed to be sent via CHECK or IHAVE by this peer, thus behaving as though it already has the article.  A complete article sent by this peer via TAKETHIS (because it does not first query with CHECK, or it does not take into account the refusal response code from a previous CHECK) will still be accepted.


This key requires a boolean value.  It defines whether a peer is allowed to issue LIST commands.  The default is true, that is to say it can.


This key requires a positive integer value.  It defines the maximum number of connections allowed.  A value of zero specifies an unlimited number of maximum connections (unlimited or none can be used as synonyms).  The default is 0.


This key requires a string value.  It is used if you wish to require a peer to supply a password via AUTHINFO USER/PASS.  The default is an empty string, that it to say no password is expected.

Note that innd will accept any username provided by the remote peer as long as the password corresponds.  (As the username is mandatory in the authentication protocol, innd expects one but does nothing with it.)


This key requires a string value.  It is a list of newsfeeds(5)-style list of newsgroups which are to be accepted from this host.  The default is the string *, that is to say all groups are accepted.


This key requires a boolean value.  When set to true, innd asks the remote peer to retry later to send the proposed article (which happens when another peer has already offered to send it, but has not yet), using 431 (response to CHECK, in streaming mode) or 436 (response to IHAVE in non-streaming mode) codes.  When set to false, innd does not ask any new attempt (which will lead to the loss of an article in case the other peer does not send it), using 438 (response to CHECK) or 435 (response to IHAVE) codes. The deferral feature can be useful for peers that resend messages right away, as innfeed does.  The default is true: the deferral feature is used so that the peer receives 431 and 436 codes, and therefore resends the article later.


This key requires a boolean value.  Setting this entry causes this peer to be skipped.  The default is false.


This key requires a boolean value.  It defines whether streaming commands (CHECK and TAKETHIS) are allowed from this peer.  The default is true.


This key requires a boolean value.  It defines whether a peer is allowed to issue XBATCH commands.  The default is false, that is to say it cannot.


Written by Fabien Tassin <> for InterNetNews.  Converted to POD by Julien Elie.

See Also

inn.conf(5), innd(8), libinn_uwildmat(3), newsfeeds(5).

Referenced By

ctlinnd(8), inncheck(8), innd(8), innupgrade(8), innxbatch(8), pullnews(1).

2023-03-07 INN 2.7.1 InterNetNews Documentation